This is one of "22
virus definitions" (thought-mistakes that cause ineffectiveness
and unnecessary negative emotions).
WHEN YOU feel discouraged, you know what
to do: The antivirus for
your mind. When you're looking for why you think your setback
has happened, you'll look for mistakes in your explanations.
So far so good.
Sometimes the explanation you came up with
will be true, but the implication is false (or
at least could be better). This falls under the category of false implication (one of
the 22 virus definitions). False implication is a thought-mistake.
example, a woman was depressed because she'd lost her job two
years ago, and hadnt gotten another job since. She felt
like a failure because she was still jobless after all this time.
Her explanation of her failure was: She
didnt do well in job interviews.
Her therapist wanted to test this, so he
did a mock interview with her, and the therapist agreed
she was terrible at being interviewed.
However, her conclusion was that because
she interviewed so badly, she would never get a job. The therapist,
on the other hand, concluded that since they now knew exactly
what the problem was, getting a job has become possible. All
she had to do was learn to interview well.
So they practiced and the therapist coached
her to improve the way she presented herself and she got better.
They rehearsed, did mockups, recorded the practice sessions and
really worked on it.
At her very next interview, she was offered
the job. That was ten years ago. She has been continually employed
since then in a very competitive field.
Now look at what happened. Her explanation
for her failure was correct. She made no thought-mistakes there.
She thought she was a lousy interview, and she was. But she made
a mistake in the implication she drew from that. She thought
the fact that she wasn't good at interviewing implied
she couldn't get hired. This implication is wrong, or at least
you could draw a more productive implication from the same fact.
So when you're going through the
process, writing down your demoralizing thoughts and checking
them for thought-mistakes, go one step further. If you find a
demoralizing thought and you know it's true, explore further.
What demoralizing implications have you concluded about it? Are
they necessarily true? Don't be so sure. If a thought is pessimistic,
it is suspect. Any negative thought you have is automatically
suspect. Really look at it because the consequences are significant.
Back to the article, Antivirus
For Your Mind.